HomeEducationUF Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access Committee takes the lead in opposing FDOH recommendations for treating gender dysphoria in children
UF Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access Committee takes the lead in opposing FDOH recommendations for treating gender dysphoria in children
May 16, 2022
BY JENNIFER CABRERA
A statement written by the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access Committee is being circulated to multiple departments at the University of Florida (UF), asking faculty, post-doctoral fellows, students, and staff of UF to “call on the UF President, UF Provost, UF Faculty Senate, and the Dean of the UF College of Medicine to publicly support the use of accepted best practices from the leading U.S. medical organizations to guide Florida Department of Health policy for the healthcare of transgender and gender-nonconforming adolescents.”
The letter is in response to the April 20 guidance from the Florida Department of Health (FDOH), in which Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo says that the current guidance from the federal government fails “at the most basic level of academic rigor,” adding that “Countries such as Sweden, Finland, France, and the United Kingdom are currently reviewing, reevaluating, stopping, or advising caution on the treatment of gender dysphoria in children and adolescents.”
FDOH’s guidance is based on their assertion that “The current evidence does not support the use of puberty blockers, hormone treatments, or surgical procedures for children and adolescents.”
The Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access Committee (Committee) cites guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the Endocrine Society, and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and says that Dr. Ladapo is encouraging “the harmful denial of healthcare that meets accepted and vetted standards by the AAP and other leading U.S. medical organizations for transgender and gender-diverse children and adolescents.”
The Committee questions Dr. Ladapo’s expertise in transgender medicine but does not explain why the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation is taking the lead on the letter. The Committee writes, “It is incumbent on us to speak up when academic authority is misused to facilitate state sponsored harm to children and adolescents by attacking their rights (and those of their parents) to healthcare.”
The letter currently has 16 pages of signatures, many from faculty and staff. While some are from doctors and medical faculty, the majority are from other departments, including the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Department of Classics, the Department of English, the Department of Plant Pathology, the Department of Linguistics, the Center for Latin American Studies, IFAS, the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, the School of Music, the College of Education, the Physics Department, and others.
After reading the Committee’s letter, Jeremy Redfern, Dr. Ladapo’s Press Secretary, sent us the following statement: “The Surgeon General stands by the guidance, as it speaks for itself. Consensus is not science, and the burden of proof is with those claiming a benefit for these life-altering medical procedures. Unlike lobbying groups, such as the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Florida Department of Health is a government institution that is legislatively mandated to protect the health and well-being of over 22 million Floridians, with over 4 million being under the age of 18.”
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